“Exercise is King. Nutrition is Queen. Put them together and you’ve got a kingdom.” – Jack LaLanne.
The holiday season is upon us, and hopefully, that means spending time with loved ones and acknowledging the joy they bring to your life. It’s a time to give love and support to others and receive the same in return. Sometimes, however, the season gets conflicted with obligations and stressors as well. It’s a busy time of year, and even when we’re scheduled to do wonderful things, like get together with friends and family, that can mean disruption to your typical routine. The combination of a disrupted and impacted scheduled, a little additional stress and an abundance of sugary foods that you’re not normally surrounded by can lead to poor health habits.
Too often people throw in the towel on their health and fitness goals in the last month of the year. They rationalise that there will be too much temptation, too much irregularity in their schedule, too much travel, etc…to really stay on track with their fitness goals. Instead, they focus on New Year’s resolutions to right the ship once the holidays have passed.
I want to encourage you all to get a head start on your fitness-related New Year’s resolutions and provide a few simple suggestions to help you navigate the holiday health landmines.
Focus on a Short-Term Goal.
One of the most effective things you can do in the final month of the year is set a micro-goal to keep you laser focused. This should be a goal that you can accomplish relatively easily in the next few weeks – it should NOT be a massive achievement, just something to keep you on track. For example, “I will make it to the gym for a workout at least 2x per week between now and January 1.” Don’t be tempted to shoot for the stars, you can save that for January 1…for now, just pick one goal (or two at most) that you know you can achieve. Achieving a reasonable goal is important for building momentum as you approach New Year.
You should start thinking about your larger overarching goals though so that you have plenty of time to reflect and consider what is most important to you as you head into the annual New Year’s goal setting process. I strongly suggest that you go back and visit an old Goal Setting article of ours… In this short post, you will learn how effective goal setting can make you be successful in all of your pursuits. If you need any help with this process, you can always reach out to one of our coaches!
Practice an 80/20 Rule During the Holidays.
Your health and fitness shouldn’t be “all or nothing”…especially during the holidays. This is a time to reinvigorate, and there will a lot of distractions, so consider giving yourself some leeway to be less than perfect.
Some of the best advice I have ever received was to acknowledge when I didn’t want to do something – for example, “I am too tired to go workout today” or “I really want to eat that slice of cake, even though I know it won’t help me achieve my goals.” Once you recognise that feeling, do the “right thing” 80% of the time. In other words, 4/5 times that you don’t want to do something, force yourself to do it. When you know that you don’t have to make the right choice every time, you’ll feel better about deferring it until the time it will be most meaningful.
I hope these simple pieces of advice are helpful because the number one thing on my holiday wish list is to see you all continue to thrive and exceed your own expectations!